Characters Who Ruined Great TV Shows
If there’s one thing that can always spark a lively debate, it’s the worst characters on our favorite TV shows. Over the years, casting directors at major networks have usually (or at least, pretty frequently) gotten it correct when adding new roles to beloved shows like The Brady Bunch or The Big Bang Theory.
But we’re here to talk about all those TV characters who did not meet the mark. According to die-hard fans of these shows, here are some of the characters whose mere presence threatened to ruin otherwise great TV shows (or, at least, the season of the show on which they appeared).
Appeared: Seasons 5 & 6 (1980-1982)
Actor’s Name: Jenilee Harrison
Net Worth: $3 million *
Cindy Snow was thrown into season five in the middle of some major drama in the plotlines of beloved series Three’s Company. Fan favorite Suzanne Somers had also just left the series, leaving producers to cast Jenilee Harrison as Cindy to try to fill the void..
The character was portrayed as a dumb, clumsy, annoying blonde – leaving fans feeling quickly annoyed with her. Harrison would go on to have a way more fitting (and fairer) role on the hit show Dallas.
Appeared: Season 8 (1999)
Actor’s Name: Josh Meyers
Net Worth: $2 million*
The opinions on season eight of That ‘70’s Show range from just hating Randy Pearson’s character to hating the entire season. Josh Meyers played the role of Pearson. Meyers was originally cast as a replacement for Eric, who was previously played by Ashton Kutcher. However, producers realized that this would enrage fans, so they cast him as Randy.
Randy worked with Hyde at the record store and dated Donna throughout season eight. He was somewhat of a combination of Eric and Kelso, both of whom had departed the show. Meyers’ character failed because fans missed Ashton Kutcher. Pearson was widely disliked right from the start of season eight.
Appeared: Season 7 (1992-1993)
Actor’s Name: Shane Sweet
Net Worth: $1 million*
Seven was such a bad character that Married…With Children later made him a missing person’s case and stuck his photo on a milk carton. Seven was the seventh child of Ida Mae and Zemus Wanker, Peggy Bundy’s cousins. Fittingly, he appeared in season seven of the sitcom, where he was dropped off by his parents on the Bundys’ doorstep.
Seven was ridiculously annoying, even more so than the average little kid. Seven was so despised by fans that producers got rid of him mid-season, with a cover story that he went to the neighbor’s house and refused to leave.
Appeared: Seasons 7-9 (2011-2013)
Actor’s Name: Catherine Tate
Net Worth: $8 million*
Nellie Bertram was widely despised by fans during her appearance on the eighth season of The Office (which is where we really got to know her, as opposed to her guest appearance on season seven), but we’d argue she really redeemed herself during season nine.
After all, Nellie was the reason Andy lost his job on The Office. She was an interloper into the tight-knit Office community, and she was a horrible, petty boss. Catherine Tate played her character very well, and it wasn’t until season nine that Nellie and Andy finally made peace. Fans began to warm up to her during the last season.
Appeared: Seasons 1-9 (2005-2014)
Actor’s Name: Josh Radnor
Net Worth: $30 million*
Ted Mosby was the protagonist on the show How I Met Your Mother. Played by Josh Radnor, it was the opinion of many fans that the show survived despite its protagonist. Ted Mosby, in addition to taking nine years to tell one story, got away with a lot on the show, and he pushed fans’ leniency too far.
Mosby’s character was super sensitive and cheesy. As TV Over Mind’s Aiden Mason put it, he was the “type of guy that guys can’t stand—and women can’t either.” There even was an entire website dedicated to Mosby haters, called Tedmosbysucks.com.
Appeared: Seasons 1-7 (1987-2002)
Actor’s Name: Wil Wheaton
Net Worth: $500,000*
Crusher was a regular character for seasons one through four of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and, after seeing fans’ frosty reception to him, he had sporadic appearances for the next three. Fans had trouble buying into the whole “genius kid” trope in a show as polished and scientific as TNG.
Part of this was likely due to the fact that the writers of the show couldn’t write young characters well. Wheaton also had California diction. That, combined with the awkward writing, made him come off as dismissive and smug.
Appeared: Season 3 (2007)
Actor’s Name: Kiele Sanchez/Rodrigo Santoro
Net Worth: $500,000*/$10 million*
Featured on E! Online’s list of the “Worst TV Couples Ever,” Nikki and Paolo from Lost were widely despised by fans who felt that their storyline didn’t really have anything to do with the other castaways. Lost was already a confusing show, and the two of them made it worse.
Paolo was a con artist and Nikki a terrible actress, and they were on the show briefly before they were paralyzed by spiders and subsequently buried alive. The two had murdered someone before arriving on the island. Writers hoped that the couple would redeem themselves, but that failed. Even Damon Lindelof, the showrunner, acknowledged their unlikeability.
Appeared: Seasons 4-5 (2011-2013)
Actor’s Name: Aarti Mann
Net Worth: $400,000*
Aarti Mann’s character, Priya Koothrappali, was the younger sister of Raj on The Big Bang Theory. She served as the main antagonist (however unintentional) of the fourth season of the show. Priya worked as a corporate lawyer, which is already an unlikable job, and her esteem with fans dropped from her first appearance.
Their dislike of her was due mainly to the fact that she cheated on Leonard with her ex-boyfriend. The breakup between the two took place on season five, episode seven of the show (the show’s ninety-fourth episode overall). Priya’s main enemy on the show was, as you may have guessed, Penny.
Appeared: Season 5 (1974)
Actor’s Name: Robbie Rist
Net Worth: $300,000*
Cousin Oliver, played by Robbie Rist, on The Brady Bunch was such a hated character that it led to the name “Cousin Oliver Syndrome.” The term describes the TV trope of introducing a young, new character to a show that’s been around for a while and needs a change. However, this new introduction ends up ruining the show.
Cousin Oliver was like a human disaster magnet. He was always causing problems, and that caused the series to become unbalanced, as the show revolved around the family cleaning up Oliver’s messes. Even Today agreed that poor little Oliver arguably “killed” the show.
Appeared: Season 9 (1978-1979)
Actor’s Name: Danielle Brisebois
Net Worth: $1 million*
Another child that fans hated was Stephanie Mills from All in the Family. Mills was the niece of Archie Bunker and his wife. She went to live with the Bunkers after her alcoholic father abandoned her on their doorstep. You would think that tragic backstory would have softened fans up to her, but alas, it did not.
Mainly, Stephanie was disliked by fans because it threw off the overall family dynamic. However, there are some fans who believe that Stephanie helped the Bunkers, as Archie was forced to encounter liberal viewpoints. Also, Stephanie was Jewish, something that Bunker was, at first, very openly critical of.